A Grand Day Out!

Last Update: Oct 4, 2022

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I don't usually stray too far from home, but yesterday I made an exception. I travelled to London to meet up with a friend from Florida, who was visiting our capital city with her husband.

This is the first time we had met in person, our conversations for the last year have been by email only, so it was pretty exciting to be meeting at last.

We went to a restaurant overlooking a huge covered-in market and had afternoon tea. This is a great British tradition and is taken very seriously. We chatted for ages and ate tiny finger sandwiches, cakes, and scones with jam and clotted cream, washed down with a pot of English tea each. The cakes were very good.

We then went to browse around the market; I was amazed at how many different foods there were on offer, some I had never heard of! I have to watch my bank balance at the moment (it's on life support) so I couldn't buy anything. But mentally, I spent around £500 I think.

We wanted to go to the top of London's tallest building, The Shard, but the viewing gallery was closed. However, we did go as far as the 32nd floor and admired the view of the River Thames, Tower Bridge, St. Paul's Cathedral and other London landmarks. I love to be up high, I would've loved to see what the view was like at night, with the city all lit up beneath me, One day, I will go back.

Amanda is a lovely person (and fellow animal lover) and I was so glad we were finally able to meet. We will both have some wonderful memories of our day out and no doubt will meet again in the future.

But next time, I will wear more comfortable shoes. My wedge-heeled strappy sandals were not made for hiking around the city. Although they are cute, I must admit!

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Recent Comments

64

That sounds totally AWESOME, Karen! Very well done!

I met a couple of WA members in May of this year, as they were passing through from an extended vaction! That was very fulfilling too! Jeff

It's so good to meet people face to face, it's like a breath of fresh air in your life. I will check out the link Jeff!

You can say that again, Karen! Thanks for checking it out!

Have a Happy Hump day!🐫

Jeff

And you Jeff! We are having some very windy weather, I hope it won't blow any trees down. I have trees in my garden which I'm quite fond of!

Batten down the hatches, Karen, and stay safe!

Jeff🙏

I will, thanks Jeff. At least this is only a strong breeze, I feel bad for the people who've been affected by that storm Ian in Florida. It's close to where my friend Amanda lives so I hope her house is okay

I feel badly for all of those affected by Hurricane Ian, Karen! I hope your friend's property is okay!

Jeff

I hope so too Jeff, imagine coming home after a great holiday and finding out your home is flooded - or worse. I emailed and asked if she'd let me know how things were so I'm just waiting to hear from her

Fingers crossed that all is well when you hear from her, Karen!

Jeff🤞🤞🤞🤞

Thanks Jeff 🤞🏻

You're very welcome, Karen!

Jeff

Sounds like you had a fun day with your friend, Karen. Lovely picture of the London bridge with all the lights at night!

Myra

Thanks Myra, it was lovely to meet her, she’s absolutely beautiful and a very warm and kind person too.

London is very pretty at night, I will go back at some point and go back to The Shard. It’s 1,016 feet high so the view should be sensational!

What a fun day, Karen! A few years ago I enjoyed a visit to London and loved everything about it, especially the afternoon tea! But I agree…sturdy walking shoes are essential. So happy for you that you were able to meet your friend.

Susan 😊

Hi Susan, you are right, next time I’m wearing my hiking boots! My feet were screaming!

It was a good day otherwise, Amanda enjoyed it too. She spent a fortune in a shop selling luxury chocolates! She was then a bit concerned that her luggage would be over weight. I suggested eating them before she left her hotel.

How are you feeling now? I hope you’re on the mend Susan, being poorly is no fun is it?

Amanda sounds like my kind of gal too! I can’t get enough good European chocolate either and have had the same issue travelling lol. I always hit the Neuhaus shops . London is amazing in all it has to offer the senses. You’re lucky to live in that area .

I bottomed out yesterday, Karen and am starting to feel just a head cold. You’re right it’s no fun being ill. Thanks for caring 😊

Amanda is lovely, she has red-gold hair, pale freckled skin and bright blue eyes. She's also slim and can eat loads of chocolate without having to worry about gaining weight!

I'm glad you're feeling a bit better, recovery can be a slow process. But it sounds like you're on the mend, which is great!

The shop that we went to is called Hotel Chocolat, they have some truly delicious concoctions. But a box of chocs averages around £24. When I start earning good money with WA I will make a beeline for this shop and come out laden with boxes, bars and goodness knows what else.

They have flavoured chocolate chips to make hot chocolate, and chocolate liqueurs in fancy bottles. It's all so beautiful. I want a velevetiser, which makes the smoothest, richest hot chocolate ever created. Yum!

I like your style, Karen. That shop sounds heavenly. A true dream to visit. Pricey but I’ll bet it’s all devine. Yum is right. Still feeling crummy. My impatience is getting the better of me. I hope you have a lovely day. 😊

Good thing we don’t have one here in Harlow, I would move in!

The chocolates all look so attractive, and they have some scrumptious flavours too, like Creme brûlée, gin and tonic and key lime pie. My mouth is watering at the mere thought of such taste sensations!

Recovery takes time Susan, be patient with yourself if you can. Sending healing vibes your way ♥️💐🍫

Oh my gosh...you have me drooling. Those flavors sound incredible. I wonder if they have a website...hmm lol. Sounds like a dangerous proposition but I do hope you get to sample some soon!

Thanks for the well-wishes...feeling the vibes. 😊🍫🌺👍

They were very good, especially the passionfruit meringue tart. I am now on a mission to find a recipe and make it at home. Where I will have a large slice! No wonder my waistline has vanished!

You can view their website here:

https://www.roast-restaurant.com/

Glad the vibes are being absorbed, sending more your way

Oops, I sent the link to the restaurant instead. My brain, honestly! Here's a link to Hotel Chocolat

https://www.hotelchocolat.com/uk/shop/collections/

You will be drooling uncontrollably. And newsflash - it looks like you can buy them online. Imagine a package full of gorgeous chocolate arriving on your doorstep!

Thank you, Karen! I looked when I shouldn't have...those do look amazing. Absolutely gorgeous little jewels of deliciousness. Unfortunately, looks like they don't ship over the pond. That's probably a good thing lol. I certainly hope you get to enjoy some!

Fabulous, Karen...do find a recipe and enjoy plenty! Roast looks incredible. I'd love to see London again...everything is just so stylish and thoughtful. Sending vibes back your way :-)

They taste as good as they look too! They’ve stopped shipping overseas temporarily, so check in now and then and they will soon be back to normal.

I could spend a fortune in that shop. They used to do jumbo sultanas soaked in dark rum and covered in white chocolate. They were off the charts! I had a go at making them myself but wasn’t sure how long to soak the sultanas in the rum. It ended up being about a month! They were dangerous, but very tasty

Thanks Susan, I think you should start planning a trip to England. If you visit London it would be great to meet up!

That would be so fun, Karen...and if I do, it would be great to see you! Tea and chocolates all the way ;-)

I noticed that...will keep an eye on the site. Maybe they'll bring back overseas shipping. I think it'd be easy to drop a fortune there but a special treat is worth it every now and then. I wonder if they have a list of which chocolates are in each box.

Good for you that you tried making them! You're obviously very talented. I'll bet they were incredible. 🍫👍

Maybe one day it will happen!

Thanks Susan, I tried the individual sultanas but kept losing them in the bowl of melted chocolate. I changed plans and made clusters instead. They were extremely alcoholic but tasted very much like the originals.

I’ve made chocolates quite a lot, they’re actually quite easy to make. I have a lovely book called Auberge du Chocolat, it explains all the techniques like tempering, seeding, enrobing and double dipping. Along with amazing photos!

I’m sure you could find out what’s in each box of their chocolates. You would be spoiled for choice though, so many delicious flavours. Amanda had real trouble deciding, she picked up one box then spotted another one even better! I didn’t envy her

That sounds like quite an experience, Karen...I have never attempted to make chocolate. I'm only an expert taster lol. I really appreciate all your insights here. I can imagine Amanda's dilemma. Too many choices, too little time :-)

You never know...that would be fun!

I could send you a recipe or two. My favourites are peanut butter truffles and cocoa dusted dark chocolate truffles. I also used to make white chocolate and coconut truffles, I would sneak some of my brothers coconut rum to put in them! He got really annoyed with me when he found out but when he tried the chocolates he calmed down

Making chocolates is as simple as melting your choice of milk, dark or white chocolate, adding flavouring then rolling them into round shapes and setting them. Tempering gives a lovely sheen but I’d only use it if I wanted a shiny shell for my chocolates

That would be lovely...feel free to PM me :-)

Watch your inbox tomorrow!

That sounds like you both enjoyed a wonderful day out Karen!

London can be a fantastic city, but... even though I am originally from the UK, I don't think I have been thete more than half a dozen times!!

Any holiday time I would get from work when I was younger, I would always spend exploring different countries!

When hiking around a city... always go for comfort over fashion my friend.. (my wife is also just starting to realise this now)!!!

I don’t usually wear silly shoes, it was just that I’d dressed up for the occasion and trainers didn’t go with my outfit!

I love to explore cities, my favourite was Vancouver. New York was good too. What was your favourite?

There you go Karen.... style over comfort!!🤣🤣

I have been to some amazing cities in my time (never Vancouver or New York though, so I can't comment about them)!!

But if I had to name the top five... here we go!!

-Rome
-Rio de Janiero
-Budapest
-Barcelona
-Florianopolis

These are just cities though... I have visited probably thousands of little places that I would struggle to list my friend!

Cute doesn't mean comfortable. Maybe you can make some of what you saw and share with us.

No it doesn’t, you’d think I would’ve learned that by now!

I wrote a post about afternoon tea on my website, it includes the origins of this very British tradition, plus some recipes for people to have a tea party at home. I’m going to have one this weekend I think. Scones with jam and clotted cream are top of the menu, plus smoked salmon sandwiches. Yum!

Hi, Karen

You obviously had an excellent day out!

That whole “afternoon tea” thing really impresses me! What a wonderful tradition!

When I lived in Chicago I frequently went to an establishment that served “high tea.”

It was similar to what you described but I’m sure it’s not even close to the real thing.

Frank

It is a very quaint British custom, now I’ve tried it I would like to make it a regular thing.

High tea is more substantial, afternoon tea is meant to take the edge off your hunger until dinner time. We were comfortably full but not stuffed!

I wrote a post on afternoon tea, the history of the tradition and some recipes so that you can recreate it at home. I will send you the link so you can read more about it Frank! And maybe invite some friends over to indulge…

Thanks, Karen! 😊

Hi Frank, here's the link to the afternoon tea post

https://tasteofhomecooking.com/traditional-afternoon-tea-recipes/

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